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The Boston Globe


Fuel oil industry feeling the heat

As more Massachusetts households convert to cheaper natural gas, many dealers expand services or merge businesses to survive

After 64 years in the heating oil business, Brown’s Oil and Air Conditioning of Needham faced a choice as it lost customers to cheaper natural gas: close or sell. Vin Brown, the second-generation owner, chose to sell, merging his company with the larger MacFarlane Energy in Dedham.

“Financially, it just became a necessity, ” Brown said. “Right now natural gas is really doing a number on the oil business.”

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